Showing posts with label ono grindz. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ono grindz. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hawaii: Malasada Mondays and Other Tropical Tales

For the last month our weeks have started on a sweet note: Malasada Mondays ~ a lyrical combination that has brought smiles to our faces and – big sigh – added a few pounds to our weight.

Malasadas, a favorite treat in Hawaii, were introduced here in the late 1800’s by Portuguese laborers from Madeira and the Azores who came to work in the plantations.

Think donut holes – great BIG donut holes. Some served with a sugar coating and others sliced open and filled with melt-in-your-mouth custard.

The temptations were great
DSCF1618 We’ve been lucky this year as our Hawaiian home at KoOlina has begun hosting one of the many Farmer’s Markets that take place throughout this island chain.

Although teeny in comparison to most, our market brings one Honolulu baker who serves up loaves of Hawaiian sweet bread and rolls filled with tropical flavors like coconut and pineapple. (He doesn’t have a retail outlet, but similar treats can be found at Leonard’s in Honolulu)

One of our favorite things about this one-time-kingdom-now-state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is the diversity of people here and the customs and foods they’ve brought to this tropical paradise.

They came in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s as laborers to work in pineapple, taro, and sugar cane fields and related industries, from islands in the South Pacific, China, Korea, Japan, and Europe. Thanks to them bringing their foods and flavors from home, today’s Hawaii offers food lovers a feast of diverse culinary cuisine.

Hot and spicy - Korean vegetables

An editor of mine, many years ago asked, “Can you get American food there?” (Yes, he was serious. And yes, you can. Col. Sanders is serving up buckets of fried chicken while Quarter Pounders are being grilled under the Golden arches and Big Box pizza joints are making home deliveries.) But why would anyone come here to eat that food when there’s so many other 'Ono grinds' (good food)  just waiting to be sampled?

PicMonkey Collage
Waipahu Saturday morning farmer's market - O-'ahu
SPAM, I am

Some foods though just call out ‘Hawaiian’ in our minds. For instance, SPAM. That canned meat product is so popular here they have an annual SPAM Jam Festival!

IMG_20150124_105645_777 More SPAM®, according to one of the conference sponsors, is consumed per person in Hawaii than any other state in the United States, which makes it somewhat appropriate for their signature food festival, which in 2015 takes place May 2.

SPAM® stands for ‘spiced ham’; a product introduced in 1937 by the mainland  Hormel Foods Corporation.  The food cube inside the can is a mix of ham and pork shoulder and now comes in low-salt, spicy and original (simply salty) versions. It is believed to have been introduced by the service men stationed here during WWII.

Its popularity continues to grow. There seem to be new variations available each year! Costco, the big box U.S. chain store, sells it here by the case.

Two key statistics in the SPAM Jam news release caught my eye:
* nearly seven million cans of SPAM® are eaten every year in Hawaii.)

* in the decade since it began, the Waikiki SPAM® JAM, has become one of the most popular festivals in Hawaii. More than 20,000 attend the annual event.

Shave Ice

My Hawaiian friends are offended if I compare a Hawaiian ‘shave ice’ to what we mainlanders call a ‘snow cone’. The premise is the same for both, shaved ice that is flavored with syrups of various flavors.  Apparently – it is the way the ice is shaved that can make this treat a true Hawaiian melt-in-your-mouth (pun intended!) version or a lumpy mainland version.  And a trip to the island of O’ahu isn’t complete without going to the North Shore for a stop at Matsumoto’s for shave ice.  Lines often wind into the street from the shave ice counter in this 1950’s wood-frame grocery store that now sells only shave ice, tee-shirts and souvenirs.

PicMonkey Collage
Matsumoto Shave Ice - an island favorite
Food Trucks:

And one can’t make a trip to the North Shore and not be tempted by the eateries that line the two-lane road through Haleiwa (a once-laid-back-surfer-town now teeming with tourists) While these photos were taken in Haleiwa, you’ll find food trucks tucked away in the most unexpected places around the island:

PicMonkey Collage
North Shore O'ahu Food Trucks
When you travel do you stick to foods that you ‘know’ or do you ‘go local’? Tell us in the comments below or shoot us an email.  Thanks for the time you spent with us today ~ hope to see you again soon!  "Malamapono a hue hou" ~ Take care until we meet again!

Linking up this week:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Traveler’s Sandbox 
Travel Inspiration – Reflections En Route 
Mosaic Monday – Lavender Cottage Gardening
Travel Photo Monday - Travel Photo Discovery

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hawaii: SPAM and Other ‘Ono Grindz’

Ono grindz:  means good food in Hawaiian.

One of the ways Hula Babe and Beach Boy ‘go local’ is by the way we eat!  But that can be said of us no matter where in the world we travel. Half the fun of travel is trying the local cuisine.

spamhawaii2014 021

And there’s no bettah way, as they say here,  to get a taste of Hawaii than by eating some of the killah ono grindz and that includes, my friends, none other than. . .SPAM!

SPAM, its name derived from ‘spiced ham’ was the creation of Minnesota-based Hormel foods back in 1937. They came up with a recipe to use left over pork shoulder and an employee is credited with giving it the immortal name of “SPAM” as result of a contest.

spamhawaii2014 006Despite what some of you may believe is in those ubiquitous cans, it is a mixture of ground pork and ham, with salt, sugar and other special ingredients.  It is cooked then canned and cooked again, then cooled in the can. 

Of course, in Hawaii they have versions of SPAM we never see back home, like the little SPAM singles to the left. 

In Honolulu they have an annual SPAM JAM event that spans several days in honor of this tasty treat. (Even at KoOlina, where we are, weekly SPAM carving/cooking/creating contests always draw contestants.)

spamhawaii2014 003

We were blown away by the varieties now offered – think Starbucks and its variations on a cup of coffee - compared to the original flavor,which many of us at this age recall eating in our childhoods.

Hawaiians consume more SPAM than anywhere else in the world, with Guam a close second, and South Korea in third place. (SPAM is sold in exquisite gift boxes and considered a luxury gift given for special occasions like Lunar New Year in South Korea, according to numerous mainstream media articles.)

spamhawaii2014 004

But man cannot live by SPAM alone, so another of our favorite Hawaiian treats is poke.  Pronounced, POH-kay, it is a Hawaiian verb, meaning ‘to section or slice’.  It is made of fresh fish -- okay you squeamish ones out there -- that is, raw fish that has been ‘marinated’ in a sauce or doused with spices.

PicMonkey Collage

Fresh ahi (tuna), shrimp, mussels in spicy flavors, soy or oyster sauce draw us to the massive poke bars at the local island supermarket, Foodland and even Costco offers a poke bar in the town of Kapolei.  Poke is traditionally served as a side course or appetizer, but we’ve often made entire meals out of two or three of these tasty treats.

KOowners14 001

And then there is Kim Chee. also known as Kimchi and gimchi; some of our favorite Korean vegetable delights! These are fermented and/or pickled vegetables – spicy hot and usually served on a bowl of rice. Since we are cutting the carbs, we eat them as sides.  (Remember, finicky ones, sauerkraut is fermented vegetables as well).

food2014 001

I almost worship this bar each time we enter our local store and never leave without a carton of the cucumbers in spicy hot sauce.

Hawaii is an international melting pot of culinary delights and we must give a nod to the Portuguese for bringing their hot spicy sausage to the islands so many decades ago.

food2014 002

If you can’t bring yourself to try some SPAM and eggs for breakfast, you must try Portuguese sausage and eggs!

KirkHono2014 051And then there is Lau Lau, a local favorite made of pieces of pork and butter fish wrapped in taro leaves and steamed.  (If you’ve ever been to an authentic luau you will have had this dish along with poi (made of taro) as your buffet selections.)

So do they really eat this stuff, you are probably asking yourself. Yes, we do. We buy the lau-lau ready made and steam it in its leaf wrappings as shown on the left, below. While it steams we put Kim Chee and poke on the plates. . .unwrap and add the lau-lau. 

And there we have it, one of many of our dinners. . .

PicMonkey Collage

. . .a feast that would have even made Hawaii’s King Kamehameha proud!

That’s it for today.  Hope you have a great week and see you back here soon! We appreciate the time you spend with us and always look forward to your comments.

Linking up:
Inside Journey’s Foodie Tuesday

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Waikiki Ono Grindz

Ono grindz, that's Hawaiian for good food. And ono grindz is in abundance here. You could eat yourself to death -- I at least am appreciating those floral mu-mu dresses, that appear more tent-like than fashion -- having started to eat my way through town. I had mentioned deck dining in an earlier post -- this photo was my $10.50 dinner: chicken katsu, bbq pork, potato salad, broccoli (I had to have something healthy) and two types of kim chee, the spicey Korean vegetables and of course two scoops of rice. Yes, that was my plate; Joel had his own.

Wine, purchased at the local grocery, brought the cost of the meal to less than $35. . .and we've had leftovers for two lunches.

We followed the advice of local columnists at The Honolulu Advertiser ( tried Happy Hour at the Sheraton Hotel's RumFire; a place with million dollar views and great Happy Hour prices ($3 draft beer, $5 wine and $5 mai tai) Pupu's were of gourmet quality and greatly reduced during the 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. daily Happy Hour.


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